Hound Dog-NFSCD #8.5

15th August, 2019

G’Day Raffers,

The Dawg Blawg has been posting for twelve months and we celebrate with a special NFSCD #8.5 commemorative edition with a story of a dog singing to the ten hole tin can and we follow up tomorrow with an early release of a feature article, ‘Chromatically Chromonica Chronologically’.

Today’s edition brings back fond, distant memories of our family dog Teddy, who way back in the sixties crooned along with Harry Belafonte.

Don’t forget our Dingo man either, former Australian Boxing champion John Cooper from Nymboida, Northern Territory, well known from the ABC’s television promo-check John and his pack out here

(Sydney Sunday Herald, 2 October 1949)

Cheers & celebratory frothies. C U 2morro. SD

PS: How about this? I wonder what it means? I came in at number five!

Paul Langford Lever

5th August, 2019

Hey there Riff Raffers,

Floating on a cloud with a cosmic shroud. Play your music loud Chetarca.

“He was one of the pioneers.” (Matt Taylor)

“Paul was the best harmonica player I had heard and a lovely man with a beautiful soulful voice and a great sense of humour.” (Andy Vance)

“Paul Lever was a great blues harp player.” (Kerryn Tolhurst)

“He was a good harp player, actually a very good harp player for the time.” (Brod Smith)

“I knew Paul Lever well and considered him to be an outstanding blues/rock harmonica player.” (Billy Pinnell)

“He was a great guy, funny, engaging and a great storyteller.” (Bruce Bryan)

(Is there another band member in the flying saucer. Perhaps it’s a light fitting for you sceptics)

Paul had his own band performing around the Melbourne nightclubs under the name Langford Lever (Langford was Paul’s middle name) and would later be named the Langford Lever Blues Band. When Kerryn Tolhurst returned from National Service duties in 1969 he recruited Paul for the reformation of the Adderley Smith Blues Band. All was not rosy and Paul would leave the band due to personal issues and would be replaced by Joe Camilleri. Paul, who had developed quite a sizeable fan base was involved in an unfortunate incident which occurred at the Dallas Brooks Hall on May 14, 1970 during a blues show with Dutch Tilders. With Joe as their new frontman he strutted the stage like Mick Jagger wearing a garish outfit consisting of a green shirt and pink strides, much to the band’s dismay and Adderley’s fans. Paul was in the audience and on the fans insistence Paul mounted the stage grabbing the microphone and professed “this is not the blues” and then took over the show. That was Joe’s last stand and Kerryn’s last encounter with Paul. Kerryn reflecting on this, commented, “He was a troubled and beautiful soul and certainly needed support, but I loved his passion and it’s so sad that he couldn’t get help.”

Briefly in 1970 Paul joined the Carson County Band formed by Greg ‘Sleepy’ Lawrie. Bass player and vocalist Ian ‘Fingers’ Ferguson for the band said that, Paul was a nice guy, but was nervous and unsure of himself constantly asking is that okay, when it was fine. It just got too much for Greg.”

In 1971 Paul had Langford Lever gigging again. They competed in Hoadley’s Battle Of The Sounds of that year finishing unplaced behind Fraternity. They appeared on GTK and Sunbury ’72 and ’73. Langford Lever would morph into Chetarca a progressive rock band that were way ahead of their time. Chetarca was a phonetic word first put forward by band member Ian Miller believing it reflected the band’s sound. It did, however cop some flack as a Shitaki mushroom. Paul, along with drummer Geoff Gallent and the amazing guitarist Ian Miller (who would later be with John Paul Young’s All Stars) were joined in Chetarca by keyboardist Andy Vance, his friend bass guitarist John Rees (who was a key member of Men At Work) and Bruce Bryan on synthesisers (and album producer). They released a seminal self titled album in 1975 along with the single ‘Another Day’. The album is highly sought after today by avid vinyl collectors paying between $200 and $300 and their music is extremely popular today in Eastern Bloc countries including Russia. The single peaked at number 75 on the hit parade.

On the album’s liner notes Billy Pinnell is credited for his help. Andy Vance explains, “Billy managed us for awhile to get us going and he encouraged us incredibly, but he was really like a wonderful mentor and friend to us all who introduced us to all sorts of nice people in the music industry.”

Billy was glowing of Paul’s involvement in Chetarca, “While out of his comfort zone in ‘Chetarca’, whose influences included classical music, ‘Emerson Lake and Palmer’ and ‘Frank Zappa’ he adapted extremely well to a band with no other soloists (apart from Andrew Vance’s keyboards) offering subtle harmonica solos on quieter songs, exciting flurries on other. Paul was also a versatile singer and a great front man.” Andy Vance reflected, “We were a progressive rock band and Paul’s vocals and versatility on the harmonica gave the band a style of music that was very appealing to a wider audience. I still get enquiries about the music and particularly Paul’s contribution.” Bruce Bryan has fond memories of his time with the band and Paul. He remembered Daryl Braithwaite being asked in an interview who he thought was Australia’s best singer and replying with Paul Lever. Bruce agreed, “He was right. Paul had great range and could put so much emotion into each song.”

Chetarca would go on to support international acts Electric Light Orchestra and Frank Zappa. They were on stage at Sunbury ’75 and were the backing band for Gerry Humphries. The band’s breakup was a bit of a mystery to some of the band members as Bruce Bryan suggests, “Okay, yeah the breakup was kind of a coup, most of us did not see it coming, but Ian Miller did not want to continue and had some artistic differences with some of us. Also he was in Sydney most of the time. Andy also had some marital and health issues, as did Paul, which probably influenced the whole scenario. It wasn’t exactly unfriendly, but a couple of us did feel like we were kept out of the loop and were quite dismayed at the outcome.”

It appears the musical talents of Paul were lost then and there. Paul had issues that were compounded when medicating with alcohol. Bruce felt Paul may have been dyslexic as he had learning difficulties which resulted in a troubled childhood. Bruce stated that, He struggled to express himself in general conversation, but could write lyrics or sing a song that could be almost erudite.” Paul was a printer by trade and moved to Western Australia where he spent three years primarily sober.

Paul returned to Melbourne and in the late nighties was tragically killed crossing the road from a Collingwood Hotel where he had just bought some takeaways. The driver failed to stop.

In finishing I would like to relate this anecdote and insight on Paul provided by Kerryn Tolhurst.

“I remember he was in tears after seeing the movie ‘Midnight Cowboy’. He really related to the Dustin Hoffman character, Ratso Ricco.”

Hear some of Paul’s harp work with Chetarca‘.


PS: Thanks to everyone who went back in time to recall and contribute to Paul’s story.




Fräulein’s Fancy-NFSCD #8

1st August, 2019

Pinch & Punch. Time for a new NFSCD and a happy birthday to my equine friends. This month we see a mysterious letter placed in a brand new mouth organ box arriving at the wrong destination. I’m putting it out there that Gerda’s surname may mean she’s related to the Herolds of Meinel-Herold, however it was/is a fairly common surname. She may have had a pretty good reason to get out of Germany at this time.

(The Beaudesert Times, 24 March 1939)

Perhaps, maybe Gerda’s pictured here?


PS: I’ve had a preview of Benoit’s album and I have to say without bias that it’s hotter than a fire cracker. The album kick’s off with a mighty fine tune that has the Ol Shep Dawg Hisself blowin’ the Proletariat Peace Pipe. It’ll still be awhile off from being released. I’ll keep you in the loop.

Also for your aural pleasure I’ve uploaded a new Gary Young & Steve Williams tune, a little country ditty written again by Gary, Hold You In My Arms.

Keep your eyes glued to the blawg as there’s quite a few posts this month.

Hotel Metropole

19th July, 2019

Hi Raffers,

A quick look at an Australian harmonica box owned by Canadian harmonica collector, Doug Dawson, a couple of record reviews and a link to an article written by Mark Weber about a new addition to my harp collection, which is rewriting Chromatic history, Hohner’s very first Chromatic, the Up-To-Date model from 1898! Just six letters Gollygeewowee!

Recently Doug Dawson contacted me about the article on the ‘Cobber’ tin. He kindly sent photos of other Australian harps from his extensive collection, including this box (no harp), ‘The Metropole’. With a little research and the assistance of Pat Missin on the possible identification of the maker I concluded more than likely it was a product of the Hotel Metropole in Sydney. The Hotel was advertised in 1929 as the largest and most modern in Australia.

With a peek inside the box the CHA logo and made in Saxony indicated to Pat that it was probably manufactured by C A Herold. Not a lot is known of C A Herold (Carl Anton) who operated from about 1919 to 1939.

The Hotel Metropole was built by the Australian Coffee Palace Company for £150,000 in 1890. The grand building fronted Young, Bent and Phillip streets. You were greeted at the foyer with amazing stained glass windows and mosaic tiled floors. Fitted with electric lighting and lavish furnishings there were 260 guest rooms, several dining rooms and probably a gift shop selling ‘The Metropole’ mouth organs. The roof top promenade had exquisite panoramic views of Sydney town and the heads. Prominent International visitors who registered at the hotel included Rudyard Kipling and Jack London. Sadly in 1969 the hotel was closed and demolished.

Interestingly another, perhaps hotel harp appeared on the author’s horizon, The Grosvenor Harp made by Seydel. Several hotels by this name existed in Australia with Adelaide’s having some notoriety. It’s difficult to date, although some of the World collectors suggest circa 1920.

Belmar records in Altona have a fabulous new sessions release by Mon Shelford. Mon was discovered busking on Sydney road by a Belmar house musician. Here was my review. How about this for a first up effort? Mon Shelford’s debut album is hotter than a fire cracker. Her vocals resonate in every fibre of your being. A mix of well crafted originals and uniquely arranged classics. For you Riff Raffers a wee bit of harp by Rob Price on the melodic ‘Walking On Eggshells’. Out now at Belmar-Records.bandcamp.

Canberra dynamic duo The Barren Spinsters have their new album ‘Ten Steps To Cynical Thinking’ pressed and on sale today. Eleven (I think Milkman’s Stomp qualifies) original hits book ended by tunes with the Blues Burger (Punching Above Your Weight-a newbie sitting near the middle has as well) and impressively packaged with fine artwork by Ruth Palmer, who is best known for her Enid Blyton illustrations. Do yourself a flavour and give your three speed gears an aural pleasure!

As mentioned earlier the recent addition to my harp collection has the chromatic harmonica world in a spin. My article isn’t far away, but chromatic historian Mark Weber has just published a fine analysis of this rare and in the main unheard of 1898 Hohner chromatic harmonica. Check it out here Up-To-Date. A few updates to Aussie Models timeline which includes The Melba, Topnotcher, Monarch, Wallaroo and Jazz Master.

A comeback of sorts to radio last week with a once a month (second Tuesday) Huff ‘n’ Puff segment 8:00am-9:00am (AEST) on Peej’s The Imaginary Friends Show.

Hear live off the mast here in the Dandenongs on 97.1 fm, stream anywhere on the planet at or even listen into the future via the archive (about 2 hours in). Next Huff ‘n’ Puff 13/8/2019 (no show in September Peej heads to the Old Dart). Hear here 3MDR.

A new post on Soundcloud spotlighting the harp of the late Paul Langford Lever (next month’s feature article) fronting the progressive rock band Chetarca in 1975. An early pioneer of the blues harp down under. Don’t forget first of the month is another Now for Something Completely Different #8.


Kiss This!

5th July, 2019

G’day Riff Raffers,

Revisiting a tune with a catchy harp riff that’s having its thirtieth anniversary and is as good today as it ever was. It continues to mature like a single malt scotch whisky in an old oak barrel.

When Scottish group Del Amitri released their single ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ for the first time the tune lived up to its title barely reaching the Top 60 charts in the United Kingdom. With the successful release of their second album, Waking Hours in 1989 (first self titled came out in 1985 to very little fanfare), the singles re-release went gangbusters and it was hello down under-here we are boys. The song would break the Top 30 in Australia and tours would follow.

‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ wasn’t atypical of the Del Amitri ambience, but instead had all the hallmarks of the American Country Rock genre (perhaps alternative as well, but I’m not sure on my genre classification regulations). The band had travelled the United States in 1986 driving around for twelve weeks with little money, busking and living with fan’s parents. It would be here that the new sounding Del Amitri would have it’s roots. Just on the name Del Amitri, Justin Currie the driving force behind the outfit claims it was meant to be meaningless and just a corruption of the Greek name Demetrius.

‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ is one of Justin’s all time favourites. He attributed this to the recording process handled by Mark Freegard and although it had been arduous the final product was just right. Harmonica Riff Raff has been fortunate in recent times to be in contact with Mark and also the man who blew the signature riff on the song, Julian Dawson. Here are their recollections.

SD: The album Waking Hours was a long time in the making. How did you end up producing this ripper tune?

MF: ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ had previously been produced by David Kershenbaum on album sessions for the Waking Hours album and scrapped (as were all the songs he produced for the album, with the exception of a ‘b’ side ‘Maggie Brown’). I’d been working with producer Hugh Jones as an engineer on re-recordings of ‘Nothing Ever Happens’, ‘Empty’ and ‘Your Gone’ when I received the call to come in as producer-I think due to Hugh’s commitment to other projects at the time.

SD: How did the recording session come together? Were there any issues?

MF: ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’, ‘Stone Cold Sober’ and ‘Opposite View’ were the first songs I attempted to record with Del Amitri at Great Linford Manor. I don’t think the sessions started well. We struggled with electric guitar sounds and nothing seemed to gel. I think out of desperation more than anything we took a more acoustic approach with ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’. We had painstakingly created a backing track of just drums and bass and had tried various electric guitar overdubs to bring the song into focus, but without much success. I think it was when Iain (Harvie) put down some dobro playing the slide riff you hear from the off, that the track started to come to life. From there on in things became much easier and the arrangement took shape relatively swiftly.

SD: Where did the idea for mouth harp on the tune arise?

MF: I’m not sure how Julian came to the session, but we had the idea that a harmonica bouncing off the guitar arrangement with a sort of call and response around the vocal might be a good thing. I remember Julian walking in as this impressive and towering figure (well I am pretty vertically challenged!) and opening an equally impressive suitcase that seemed full of every sort of harmonica possible known to man. We would have briefed him on the sort of approach we envisioned and then just let him do his own thing-probably over five to six takes. I would have comped/edited the best bits together as you can hear on the final version. One of his harmonicas was this incredible bass or baritone (?) enormous thing that produced a fat gorgeous sound. He plays this on the middle eight break (starts 2:47) and it really sounds to me like a baritone saxophone here. Such a wonderful texture.

SD: Is there anything else you’d like to add, perhaps looking back in retrospect, Mark?

MF: Just a few years later (when I worked in America for the first time) I picked up a hire car at San Francisco airport and on the journey across one of the bridges I fiddled with the fm radio, ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye‘ came on and sounded brilliant! This seemed a good omen for the recording I was about to undertake-The Breeders EP ‘Last Splash’ and their single ‘Cannonball’, which did pretty well for them (and me). ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ was a perfect album opener and Julian’s wailing harmonica on the intro sets things up beautifully, I think. This song is right up there on my list of successful production collaborations-a track I’m really proud of having some involvement.

Julian Dawson plays the Blues Burger on the tune. He uses a harmonica in the key of ‘C’ playing in second position. The song has nice step down modulation (key change-down) to ‘F’ from ‘G’ and Julian changes to a ‘Bb’ harp to continue blowing in second position. Here’s Julian’s take on the recording session.

SD: Del Amitri’s ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ was really popular here in Oz, Julian. How did you happen to blow harp on the tune?

JD: I got the gig with Del Amitri via Will Mowatt who did some keyboard work on the album and was a friend of mine in the London session world.

SD: Where did the recording take place?

JD: They were working with Mark Freegard in a residential studio somewhere in the countryside in England. It remains one of my favourite sessions.

SD: How did harp end up on the tune and how did the riff evolve?

JD: I played on a couple of tracks, but only ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ made the album. It was pretty well left up to me what I played and they took my first take, which was gratifying. It all went fairly quickly. I changed the key for the solo and played a rhythm part on the outro nicked from a Jackson Browne album, played by Jimmie Fadden from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band-they faded that bit.

SD: On the songs video clip Justin is miming the harmonica part on a Hohner Super Chromonica. What’s the story there?

JD: When Justin mimed to my performance in the video it caused a bit of a stir with the Musician’s Union and I received a pretty substantial second fee for doing nothing…obviously I’d have preferred to have appeared in the video.

SD: What was your initial reaction to the finished product and do you still see Justin?

JD: It was great to hear it on the radio when it came out and I was amazed that it wasn’t a big fat hit. I really love the song (and the album it’s on), but have only seen Justin once or twice since. I played ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ live with him when he played a gig near where I live a couple of years back. It was an excellent show and I really like him and his music.

SD: What are you up to these days Julian?

JD: If you want to check out my own music you can have a look at my website. I’ve played harp for Gerry Rafferty, Little Feat, Plainsong, Iain Matthews, Charlie Louvin and lots of others, quite apart from my main job as a singer songwriter.


“Now I’m watching the fumes foul up the sunrise.

I’m watching the light fade away

and I’m hoping tonight that I’ll open the door

and you’ll stand here and say.

So come on Babe, let’s kiss this thing goodbye.”




PS: Thanks to Julian and Mark for their time and information. Check out Mark’s webpage here Kyoto.


Lip Protector-NFSCD #7

1st July, 2019

Happy new month Riff Raffers,

Now for something completely different number seven. This was advertised mid to late 1930’s. Not much to add really, except,”Oh really!” Mick would’ve loved it well at least liked it, yes he would.

(Sydney Morning Herald, 9th July 1938)


PS: Just in case you were in early on the last post #28285 there were a couple of music reviews added. Also updates to ‘Cobber & Co’. A promo for this month’s feature article is uploaded on Soundcloud. ‘Kiss This’ will be out in the next few days. See you then.


19th June, 2019

Hello Raffers,

Here we go again a track back (or is that a back track) to the Crackajack. Further evidence the manufacturer was F A Rauner. Just a spelling difference for the Straylian market, perhaps. Registered number 28285 appears in a magnificently presented PDF file entitled, ‘A Collection Of Early Box Art 1890-1940’ by John Whiteman. A coffee table book is in the making, but there won’t be attached foldaway legs for a coffee book that doubles as a coffee table (Kramer invention-Seinfeld episode). John is from San Diego California and is one of the biggest collectors in the world. He provides an invaluable online resource of his and other collector’s harmonicas. See here at Harp Anthology.

Having observed the #28285 an email was shot to world renowned harp historian Pat Missin who responded with a page from a 1915 Rauner catalogue displaying their Cracker Jack models and blow me down, would you believe it, with registration #28285. Here’s Pat’s take on the matter at hand, “This was a registered trademark for ‘Cracker Jack’ and not ‘Crackajack’. Unless the trademark specifically states that it covers both versions, I would be very skeptical of both variations holding up in court. Not that it really matters now, but usually trademarks are quite strictly interpreted so that variations have to be specified in the original claim. However, just looking over some of Rauner’s other trademarks, they seem to have played very loosely with this. For example they trademarked ‘Immer Lustig’ as DRWZ 60105, but I’ve seen other harps with ‘Always Happy’ and ‘Siempre Alegre’ on them, both claiming that same number. That seems like it would be stretching things more than a little, but I guess it’s only against the law if you get caught! Or maybe German trademark law was a little more forgiving then.”

Well there it is fellow harpologists further support that Allan’s honeycomb of harmony mouth organs was manufactured by F A Rauner. What do you reckon?


Thanks to both Pat Missin and John Whiteman for their wonderful online resources and their contribution to this article.

New music out now! On CD Baby! A high quality album of musicianship, great songwriting and a bit of harp from Toowoomba outfit, Brendan Leggatt Band. The album is titled ‘Daylight’ and the title track is hotter than a fire cracker. ‘Losin’ My Head’ and ‘Ghost In The Kitchen’ feature the humble harp blown by Brendan and there’s a cool cover of the ‘Greg Kihn Band’s tune ‘Breakup Song’. *****


img_3929Mat Black, an alternative country singer-songwriter from Melbourne town, has followed on from his excellent 2017 EP ‘One Man Ghost Town’ with a high quality single entitled ‘Diamond Mine’. The timbre in Mat’s voice immediately draws your attention to the lugubrious nature of the tune. A uniquely crafted song frames its mood and just for extra texture soulful mouth harp is added, blown by co-writer Lachlan Bryan. The single has us travelling in high expectation for the release of his debut album.

The single will be released June 29 with a Melbourne launch on the same day at 2:30pm at ‘The Old Bar’ Fitzroy.

img_3925Hey Barren Spinsters, you guys never fail to deliver! I’m blown away by your new single ‘Hey Ruth’, which has a nice return of the ‘Gob Iron’. Hey Punters gratify your Toby Jugs with a listen. Out Now on all good and bad streaming platforms. I look forward to the release of the long play.

Can be purchased right now on iTunes.


Also checkout Liam Gallagher’s new tune Shockwave very nice and harp!

Hogan’s Heroes

5th June, 2019

Hello Riffers,

Here’s a story about a man named Hogan who was busy with five boys of his own, six men all living together, but they were not alone (bit of a mish mash of old TV sitcoms).

Just prior to the turn of the twentieth century a young lad raised in the country town of Naracoorte cherished dreams of future successes. In the beginning life was simple for Keith Macdonald Hogan, the town had all the necessary ingredients for nurture-family, footy, mates and a mouth organ. Naracoorte in South Australia lies midway between Adelaide and Melbourne and the town flourished as an important stopover when gold was discovered in Ballarat. An early association with Dugald Caldwell, journalist with the Narracoorte Herald (the spelling is correct) and a fine musician to boot, provided Keith with the impetus to learn the intricacies of this new instrument in the colonies called the mouth harmonicon (mouth organ). Master Keith conducted and played in a mouth organ band of fifteen local boys under the tutelage of ‘Captain’ Caldwell and performed at various musical events including the town’s Christmas Eve soirée of 1904.

Keith left school for employment at the Caldwell’s newspaper as a compositor. These weren’t his only passions as he also exhibited exceptional talent on the park as an Australian Rules footballer. He even created his own team in 1907, the Warrior Football Club, who would compete in classic and brutal showdowns with the other local Naracoorte team. At their inaugural meeting of the Warrior Football Club Keith was duly elected captain of the team. In 1912 the Warrior Football Club was dissolved (they were back in 1914) and a three team Naracoorte Football Association was formed. Keith captained the Centrals to the first ever premiership and played a blinder. In the same year he packed his kit bag and headed to Border Town, the Narracoorte Herald reported, “….the club had lost the services of Keith Hogan, one of the founders of the club and one of the most brilliant footballers in the South-East.” (Tuesday, 16 April, 1912)

Eventually Keith would settle down and raise a family. He found employment at the Islington Railway Workshops (pictured) near his family abode-a timber cottage at three Kintore Avenue, Chicago (suburb of Adelaide). Here he and Mrs Hogan would raise five boys, Keith the oldest born on the 24th September 1917, Gordon next on the 5th of December 1918, Stephen born on the 28th October 1920, Ray on the 15th December 1922 and James the youngest in 1924. Gordon John Macdonald Hogan would be the first baptism held at the Hogan’s new Methodist Church just up the road in Kintore Avenue in a hall purchased from the Free Gardeners Lodge. The sacrament of baptism was provided by the residing minister, the Reverend E. Ingamells. Music would be at the forefront of their upbringing and what better instrument of choice for a large family that was both economical and easily transportable, but the humble mouth organ. All the boys participated in the Methodist Junior Endeavour program where they entertained at services with solos on their pocket harps.

img_2832In the year of 1925 Keith senior ventured to the Coliseum in South Street Ballarat to compete in the Boomerang sponsored National Mouth Organ Championship. Percival Spouse would be crowned the winner by adjudicator Gustav Slapoffski (love the name). Keith (arrowed with his Boomerang De Luxe) would win the ‘Best Imitation’ section scoring maximum points. Gustav’s critique on his performance read, “K M Hogan’s imitation of brass band, church organ and mandolin, great dexterity, organ quite good, tremolo good (a comedian).”

Keith Senior was way ahead of his times in 1927 when he performed a chromatic mouth organ selection on Adelaide radio 5KA, probably on the Hohner model (pictured). More expensive than their diatonic counterparts, they were available for purchase from around 1925 (maybe earlier) and this model featured the new and improved leaf styled slide that was mounted on the outside. Hohner’s Chromonica their next improved model, with an internal spring system arrived a little later. Noted Australian harmonica author and historian Ray Grieve supported my presumption that Keith must have been one of the first chromatic exponents in the land with, “Would have to be Shep. Hohner’s Chromatic Harmonica came out in the mid 1920s. Kurt (Jacob) said that they weren’t all that popular but there must have been a few sold of course. Hogan definitely one of the earliest.” Chromatic harmonicas didn’t really take off in Australia until Larry Adler’s visit to our shores in 1938-39, although momentum had been created with release of his recordings in 1935. The Barrier Miner reported in 1927 on Keith’s outstanding skills with, “He demonstrated how to play a trio or duet on the instrument and showed the possibilities of playing in octaves on a single reed instrument. He also rendered a tune in three different keys on a natural key instrument without anyway marring it.” (Barrier Miner 17 September, 1927) Just six letters gollygeewowee!

Keith formed a family mouth organ band with his sons and one ring-in a friend of the the boys, Gordon Thomas (an early version of the Partridge Family). They were in constant demand gaining considerable concert experience on their journey. James, the youngest refused to take the stage in one contest. He had been severely traumatised by a previous meeting with a black and white minstrels act (I won’t print the actual name of the minstrels) and he didn’t want to cross their paths again (clowns were fine). Ray was a serious performer who refused to play at a local music store because, in his words, “I only perform at contests!” At a competition in Mt. Gambier an elderly Irish gentleman offered Steve money to perform a solo. Displaying business acumen way beyond his years, as first cab off the rank he blew, ‘The Wearing Of The Green’ (always a good tune for the repertoire). At the conclusion, a voice rich in Irish brogue from the auditorium exclaimed, rather ungenerously for the other contestants, “the rest of you need not play, Steve has won!”

In 1929 Keith senior was bestowed with the honour of State Mouth Organ champion winning with a score of 86/100 and beating a red hot field, A Merrett was second with 82 and H Colmer third with 81. The adjudicator from Victoria was Mr. Virginius Lorimer. Keith’s prize £5/5 and a gold medal was presented by Albert’s representatives.

The following year the Hogan’s suburb of Chicago would be renamed. Post had been a problem with local mail ending up in Illinois and not at the local Post Office agency in Kintore Avenue. The other major issue for constituents was the names association with gangsters and death. Many replacement names were put forward, Makinville, Suburbia, Killarney, Hollywood, Northview, Homeville, Fiveville, Islington Park, Baroka, Wurrook, Braeville and Mapleton. The vote was counted and Chicago became Kilburn, the name derived from the adjoining subdivision. There was some fallout with one resident outlining that the gangsters of Chicago would kill their victims and then burn them so they could not be identified.

Keith (Junior), Gordon, Ray and Stephen would enlist and serve the country in WWII. Both Stephen and Ray in the RAAF. Stephen rose to the rank of Flight Sergeant and Ray, Leading Air-Craftsman. Ray was a member of the local RSL sub-branch in Kilburn. He would perform duties in his roles as Secretary and then President and received life membership after fifteen years of active involvement. Ray lived a short dash away from the RSL with his wife Dorothy (née Bolton) at 19 Kintore Avenue.

Young Keith married local girl Lita Jones and relocated to his Dad’s old stomping ground, Naracoorte. He had graduated in carriage building at the local technical school in Kilburn and would use his newfound skills at the railway workshops in Naracoorte. Keith was more than an accomplished musician playing multiple instruments, including the baritone that he’s pictured holding here with the Naracoorte Municipal Band. He was a popular attendee at local dances tickling the ivories and showcasing his band and orchestra. Each and every Christmas Keith’s father would visit his son and former town, especially doting on his granddaughter Judith Ann (perfectly understandable having raised five boys).

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in regards to athletic prowess either. Gordon inherited his father’s football endowments. He joined the local club in Kilburn known as the Chics an abbreviation from their Chicago football club origins. Gordon was an integral member of the Premiership team of 1937.

So talented was he that that South Australian National Football League (SANFL) club North Adelaide (Roosters) drafted him the following year. Kilburn premiership teammate John Summersides would follow Gordon to the Roosters not long after. In an interrupted career Gordon would play fifty nine official senior games and kick fifteen goals over a period of ten years. In his first season he was voted Best Backman. In the Annual report of that year it stated, “Gordon Hogan showed that he is a backman of real class; his displays at full back were characterised with steadiness and purpose.” In 1939 he was awarded Best Utility and in 1941 Best Backman once more even though he didn’t play in all games. During WWII the SANFL was disbanded, however combined teams were formed and Gordon who had been discharged early from the forces was a significant member of the Norwood-North Adelaide combine teams of 1942, 1943 and 1944-playing in twenty seven games and drifting forward kicking two sneaky goals (these games and goals weren’t included in his North Adelaide official totals). In the Grand Final of ’44 Gordon was right in the thick of it, which was highlighted in this report, “Once again we were destined to meet the Port-Torrens combination to decide the premiership, and with players of the calibre of Oatey, Lush, Schmelzhopf and Cearns out of action, our prospects did not appear too rosy, however, our losses were, to some extent, counter-balanced by the return of Gordon Hogan and Stan Hancock, and how they rose to the occasion is now history.” The combine were Premiers in the latter two years and in 1944 having finished on the bottom of the ladder (only four combined teams) after the minor rounds their rise to take the flag was meteoric. Gordon’s work as a painter resulted in a shift to the panoramic fishing town of Port Lincoln in the following year. In 1946 newly formed Lincoln South (Eagles) appointed Gordon as Captain Coach. He left mid season as North Adelaide were desperate to regain his experience and with work granting him extended leave he returned to the big smoke and the best competition in the State. In 1949 North Adelaide football club honoured Gordon with life membership in recognition of long and meritorious service. Gordon’s love and indebtedness to North Adelaide FC was ongoing. He was a founding member and honorary treasurer of the Port Lincoln branch of the Roosters organising many a riotous function for club members situated in the Eyre Peninsula. Gordon also contributed to the local community by umpiring in the local league and painting the name of the racecourse on a sign at the track (Ravendale Park). His interests in racing didn’t end there, at the local the Hotel Boston he was the SP Bookie-that was until he was caught by the local constabulary. In the 1962 North Adelaide Annual Report there were several mentions of Gordon’s sudden passing (aged 43), “The tragic passing of ‘Goog’ Hogan”, “Shock and sadness attended the notification at the sudden passing” and “A tragedy overcame the Club in the passing of ‘Goog’ Hogan-a great chap and a great player, and his untimely passing is a blow we could ill afford to have.”

Then there’s Ray Macdonald Hogan (apologies to Stephen and James as I couldn’t resource your grand deeds on this mortal coil). Ray could run like the wind. A late-comer to competive athletics. He joined local amateur athletic club Western Districts at the age of nineteen. The club embraced Ray and on his wedding day provided a unique arch of spiked running shoes for the bride and groom as they left the Pirie Street Methodist church on December 23 1944. Within a short stretch of time Ray had strung a number of consecutive victories that would have made Winx (Australian Racehorse Champion) envious and in 1941 he broke the club record for the mile running a 52.2. He was selected to represent South Australia in the Australian National Championships in 1947 held at the Leederville oval in Perth. In the 100 yards he ran a solid fourth in his heat clocking 10.2 narrowly missing the final. In the 220 yards he finished fifth in his heat recording a time of 22.8. The following year he missed State selection, but fellow club members funded his trip to Melbourne (held at the St. Kilda Cricket Ground), where to his credit he made the final of the 220 yards.

A young boy’s dreams can come to fruition as can a father’s desire for his son(s) to fulfil their God given talents too. They do make you proud!


PS: Here’s Keith Hogan’s tip for beginners, “….beginners must exercise patience in learning to produce a clear note. ….it is essential that the tongue be placed on the front of the instrument to smother all the holes except the one from which the sound is to be emitted. It is most difficult to play an air which requires a clean note, but if the tongue is correctly employed the result is satisfactory. ….also desist from playing vamp like sounds between each note in soft passages.”

roostersThanks to Barry Dolman from the North Adelaide Football Club for his efforts in providing extra information on Gordon and in particular the access to the Annual Reports. It was really appreciated. Go Roosters!

Prince Pauper-NFSCD #6

1st June, 2019

Hi Riffers,

New month and another, ‘Now For Something Completely Different’ number six. Times were tough at Balmoral.

Sydney-Miss Sarah Gould (68) of Milton, on the Southern Coast, was upset last September when she read in a newspaper that Prince Charles only got 1/6 a week in pocket money. So Miss Gould went shopping. She bought a mouth organ for 8/7, and posted it to Buckingham Palace, addressed to Prince Charles. At the weekend the Milton postman bought her a reply by a lady-in-waiting to the Queen. “Dear Miss Gould,” it said “I am commanded by the Queen to thank you very much for your letter, and for so kindly sending the mouth organ to the Duke of Cornwall. Her Majesty has much pleasure in accepting this present on her son’s behalf and bids me express to you her sincere thanks.” (Broken Hill ‘Barrier Miner’, 24 March 1953)

Here’s another royalty related article from Melbourne’s ‘The Age’ earlier that year.

I sometimes wonder why the fascination? Not with the instrument, but with the royals. They do have an amazing publicity machine.

(The Age, 17 January 1953)


PS: ‘Hogan’s Heroes‘ published in a few days time. Picked up another amazing chromatic harp from Launceston, Tasmania. One of the first Chromatics anywhere in the world-presently dated 1901. Has a slide mechanism you’ve never seen before.

Shack Up Inn

17th May, 2019

G’Day Raffers,

Music review time. Hot off the press!

I’m pleased to offer you access to a mighty fine blues tune written by Gary Young of Daddy Cool fame on one of his experiences in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Gary recorded this with good mate Steve Williams (ex Rock Doctors, John Farnham band), who provides the Blues Burger. I’ll let Steve explain the song’s origins, “Shack Up Inn is a 12 bar in A…. it really is in Clarksdale Mississippi and they had a piano in the corner….it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and there was no one there so they let him have a plonk….Gary can play a convincing Jerry Lee in G and C and he knows hundreds of country and rock n roll songs….before long the ‘Just left work crowd’ wandered in and he had dozens of people buying him drinks for hours…”. Hear hereShack.

Brisbane Country Rock outfit, Good Will Remedy have just released their seven track EP ‘Witness Mark’. Living up to their name, this album like those before them doesn’t have a bad tune. Recorded live in the studio the vocals were over dubbed later which makes them really pop! AC/DC meets country on ‘Rock n Roll King’. No harp on the extended play, however Will Lebihan, vocalist and bass player told HRR that all the band play the Gob Iron-to some level of expertise. Hear/view their second singleJuanita.

Sydney bluesman Simon Kinny-Lewis has a live album ‘A Day In San Jose’ out now in all good and bad music stores. Several tracks feature the high gain-amped up harp of Andy Just. You may remember Andy from his association with Mark and Robben Ford from the Ford Blues Band. Nice to hear ‘Crossroads’ with harp.

img_2996King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have another album out in the market place, ‘Fishing For Fishies’. More harp than usual and boogie to boot. Ambrose Kenny-Smith channels his old man (Brod Smith) on the stand out tune This Thing.

In late breaking news I have obtained another Australian vintage (maybe antique) mouth organ for my ever expanding collection, ‘The Kangaroo’. An article is in the making. Further research has found support for F A Rauner as the manufacturer of the ‘Crackajack’ models and a newly discovered ‘Boy’s Crackajack’ mouth organ sold by ‘Allan’s’. Stay tuned.

A new NFSCD is not far away and a feature article on a Chicago family living in South Australia in the 1930’s.

All for now. Happy Riffin’.